Davis Votes in Support of House Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Don Davis (NC-01), Vice Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement after voting to report out of Committee favorably H.R. 8467, The Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024

“Farmers are facing the pressure from rising costs, and too many are left to decide whether to shut down or take on more debt to stay afloat. The bottom line is if struggling farms are allowed to close, struggling families won’t be able to eat,” said Congressman Davis. “I’m voting for this legislation believing it’s the beginning of bipartisan legislation that will protect producers and food insecure families and provide them with a strong safety net. There’s much more work ahead of us to deliver the strongest bipartisan bill that American families, rural communities, and eastern North Carolina deserve.”

Key Provisions Championed by Congressman Davis: 

Increases Reference Prices:

  • The bill includes an increase to reference prices for key commodities grown in eastern NC, providing more stable income for farmers by ensuring fairer prices for their crops. This change aims to protect farmers from market volatility, extreme weather events, and ensure a reliable income stream.

Promotes Precision Agriculture: 

  • Establishes a partnership between the federal government and the private sector to create voluntary interconnectivity standards.
  • Prioritizes the cybersecurity needs for precision agriculture technologies.

Protects farmers and rural communities from natural disasters: 

  • Empowers communities to restore flood protection in watersheds to levels above pre-disaster conditions through the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program—a federal initiative for emergency recovery. This provision will enable communities to build more resilient flood defenses.
  • Directs the USDA to conduct a comprehensive national agriculture flood vulnerability study. This study will provide vital insights into flood risks on agricultural lands, equipping producers with actionable data to make informed decisions and implement effective mitigation strategies.
  • Reduces the local cost share requirement to access the Watershed Rehabilitation Program for communities in limited resource areas. This NRCS program was designed to rehabilitate aging dams that no longer meet federal or state safety criteria, ensuring the continued safety of communities downstream.

Prioritizes underserved and distressed rural communities: 

  • Authorizes USDA to provide technical assistance to strengthen local capacity and improve access to rural development programs for geographically underserved and distressed rural areas directly or through cooperative agreements.

Provides cybersecurity support for rural water systems: 

  • Improves the Circuit Rider Program by allowing funds for the program to provide cybersecurity technical assistance to rural water systems.

Doubles funding for crucial agriculture trade programs: 

  • Doubles the Market Access Program (MAP) funding from $200 million to $400 million.
  • Doubles the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program from $34.5 million to $69 million.